COMICS: Augie De Blieck has a great column up about Marvel comics new Icon line of creator-owned books and what it means for the comic book industry. It's the most "this industry (including its fans) is completely broken" essay I've seen from Augie and the look works on him.

My favorite part of the article is the 'Blame The Readers' section because in the end, that's who it all comes down to. No matter how much effort retailers put into pushing a great book like Powers, if the readers are going to ignore it for unfathomable reasons, it's not going to sell. I have a feeling that Augie's audience is mostly superhero fans and I really hope they read this section of the article at least. The idea that sales of Powers are going to go up because Bendis moves the book from Image to Marvel is abso-fucking-lutely insane, to steal a phrase. I don't pay that much attention to the music industry but I have a hard time believing people would say "I'll buy 50-Cent's new album if he moves over to X Record Label" but comics readers say "I won't buy Powers because it has an Image logo on it even though I read everything else Brian Bendis writes." It's impossible to have a rational business when your customers make totally irrational decisions. There is no way to defend that position. None. If you have an attempt, please use the Comments link below. I'd love to hear it.

In the end though, I'm glad this happened. It probably means more money for Bendis which is good for him. Any time a talented writer has a chance to make a few more bucks in comics I'm all for it. However much it points out how hopelessly stupid the comics industry is it also means that more people will be exposed to and read a great comic. I hope what also comes out of this is that a lot of corporate superhero comics fans are exposed to the idea that creator ownership is good. There are far too many Marvel and DC readers who think all creator owned books are navel-gazing suckfests and seeing a book like Powers under the beloved M logo will help refute that. It also points out one of the many benefits of creator ownership. If you don't like your current deal, take your book and go elsewhere. When a popular writer of a corporate book sours on the owner of a book he/she writes their only option is to leave that book, which in most cases pleases neither the writer or the fan.

But, in any case, I'll still be reading Powers and so should you. If you weren't reading it before because of the big I in the corner you'll punch yourself when you find out how good the book is. And you'll deserve it.